SMALL- and medium-sized industries (SMIs) in the country should tap the growing market for chilled and frozen food, both here and overseas.
To succeed in this highly competitive sector, SMIs needed to produce high-quality foodstuff and package them attractively and provide information such as the nutritional value of the product, said Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) director-general Haron A. Rahim.
Apart from these, retailers and consumers were also interested in the source or origin of the main ingredients of chilled and frozen food, he said.
“Additional information on labels such as traceability of the raw materials used to produce frozen food is already the norm in the Western countries and it is timely for us to follow suit,” Haron told a press conference after opening a seminar for SMIs on proper preparation of chilled food and frozen food in Shah Alam on Tuesday.
He said that last year Malaysia sold RM329mil worth chilled and frozen food, up only 0.7% from 2002.
Local SMIs, Haron said, should enhance their research and development to come up with efficient and effective technology for the manufacture and packaging of chilled and frozen food.
“SMIs must give due focus to supply chain management which guarantees the safety and quality of the frozen food from the time the raw materials are collected to the point the products are consumed by customers,” he said.
For its part, Fama would approach hypermarkets to sell products made by SMIs.
Fama currently helps SMIs market frozen food such fish cakes, squid balls and local delicacies such as roti canai, murtabak, pau, popiah and curry puffs to mini-markets.
Chilled food are classified as those that would be kept between -1 to 10 degrees Celsius while frozen food those that had undergone quick-freezing process and stored below -18 degree Celsius.